Languages in the primary classroom

Two day workshop: 22 - 23 June 2017

This two-day workshop will bring together researchers, practitioners and policy-makers to investigate and report on the teaching and learning of languages in the primary school. Our focus will be on the symbiotic relationship between research and practice, how research should support teaching and how teaching should feed into research.

Distinguished Speaker Series: Professor Annick De Houwer (University of Erfurt)

The earlier, the better? A real life perspective on early bilingual development and its implications for later language learning: 25 April 2016

It is often claimed that all 'normally developing' children reach 'full' proficiency in their first language. This claim ignores the fact that children with two first languages often develop high levels of proficiency in only one of their languages, and not in the other. They may even show signs of language attrition before they reach primary school. Such findings challenge the notion that being exposed to a language early in life automatically leads to successful language learning.

In my talk, I will explore other reasons besides learner age that can explain early successful language learning (or the lack of it). Based on these, I will formulate implications for successful language learning later in life.

The talk will take place from 5-6pm, followed by a reception from 6-7pm. All are welcome.

Book your place

This event is free. Email to book your place.

The role of interaction in language development and loss throughout the lifespan

One day workshop: 26 April 2016

Social interaction is an intrinsic aspect of what makes us human, and language, both first (L1) and additional (L2) languages, is learned amidst communication exchanges where linguistic evidence is made available.

The study and examination of the linguistic environment in general and the role of interaction as a component of that environment, in particular, have been a matter of great interest, controversy and debate for decades. However, the precise role, nature, contribution and relationship between interaction and language learning, development and loss remain elusive.

This innovative workshop aims to provide a unique opportunity for participants and leading experts from diverse theoretical perspectives to discuss a range of key issues relating to the role of interaction in language development and loss throughout the lifespan.

Book your place

This workshop is £30, and £15 for students. Book your place now. The deadline for registration is 15 April 2016. If you have any questions, email

Past events